Saturday, December 3, 2022

Section 164 CrPC: Supreme Court agrees to hear the contempt petition against Telangana police

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The Supreme Court on Friday, has agreed to hear the contempt petition against Telangana Police which was filed for allowing crucial statements recorded under Section 164 CrPC made accessible to the rape accused even when the charge sheet was not being filed in the matter.

A bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat had on August 29 issued notice to Telangana state and had listed the matter for September 26.

The Petitioner counsel has submitted that the instructions by the Top Court were not followed  in the present matter and sadly the victims statement which was recorded by the concerned Magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was  used by the accused in various proceedings.

Advocate Tanya Agarwal of the petitioners counsel said that there was a complete defiance in following the law laid down by this Court.

The petition has been filed for mother of two children who have been victims of sexual abuse by their own father and his friends.  The plea has been filed by Tanya Agarwal and Shashank Singh through an advocate on record Anil Kumar, who sought to initiate contempt proceedings against Telangana Police and the accused persons.

As per the guidelines of the Supreme Court in Section 164CrPC, the direction are that the contents statement under Section 164 CrPC should not be disclosed to any person till the charge sheet/report has been filed under Section 173 CrPC.

The petitioner said that the investigation in FIRs is pending and the charge sheet has not been filed yet and hence, there arises no occasion or opportunity for the Respondent No. 4 and 5 (accused persons) to get the copy of 164 CrPC statement and/or to know the contents of 164 CrPC statement and yet respondent no. 4 and respondent no. 5 on multiple occasions not only referred to but also annexed the copy of the 164 CrPC statements during the course of proceedings before the trial court”.

Demanding for an action to be initiated in this regards, the petition counsel said that it is still a question as to how the accused person got the copy of the 164 CrPC statement during the pendency of the investigation.

Counsel for the Petitioner said that the most crucial piece of evidence given by the victim in sexual crimes is the 164 CrPC statement which has evidentiary value reaching the accused persons is a matter of serious concern which creates doubt in the investigation as well.

The petitioner’s lawyer also referred to the order by the Allahabad High Court which had granted permission to the accused to get access to 164 CrPC statement ,but was set aside by the Top Court

It added that during the Allahabad High Court matter, the Apex Court had said that Allahabad High Court completely erred in appreciating the directions issued by this Court, especially in a matter where the offences alleged against the accused are of sexual exploitation.

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